Ajay Butler-Jones

Twenty-One year old Ajay Butler-Jones is a fourth-year Criminal Justice major at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California.    This young man hopes to work with troubled youth. His desire to make a difference and help get their lives on track is what has lead him to study Criminal Justice.    

College life has been a full experience for Ajay.  He is a member of the Black Student Union. In addition, he has served as an officer in the Kappa Alpha Psi, Incorporated fraternity since joining 3 years ago.   He also participates in intramural sports, when time permits.  One of the fraternity projects Ajay is most proud of is their fund raising efforts to support the St. Jude’s Children’s Foundation.  He has worked with restaurants and organized “eat-ins” where a portion of the cost of the meal goes to the charity.   Ajay attributes his positive college experience to participating in these and other extracurricular activities.

Living away from home has not always been easy, but Ajay says, “that’s what makes you who you are created to be.  The hard times build character and allow me to see what I can accomplish when I put my mind to it.”   Leaving the “nest” and learning to be on his own has been more challenging than he expected it to be.  However, now knowing that he can do it has made every challenge worth it.

Ajay has relied on his faith and Christian upbringing to help him through the rough times.  He believes his faith is stronger since being on his own.  He says, “prayer works, and sometimes you just have to pray your way through.”  This sounds like a young man who has learned to trust God for himself.  Even though Ajay has not found a place to worship he still makes time to read and study God’s word and even has a Bible app on his phone.  He says, “I can look up scriptures anywhere I go.”

The greatest challenges for Ajay right now are maintaining his academics while working long hours.  He is also trying to decide if he will go on to graduate school or seek employment in his chosen field when he graduates.  Looks like Ajay will be spending more time with the Lord as he works out these choices for his future.

When asked to encourage future college bound students Ajay says, “Anyone who has the opportunity should go! Take it seriously.  Use college to get away from what you already know and see your world open up.  Learn all the new things you can.  Don’t worry, trust God and it will work out.”   Ajay also found that having mentors and advisors who could relate to him as a Black man helped him to deal with being in a area that was not very diverse.  He credits his fraternity brothers and upper class advisors with helping him deal with and understand how to handle himself in different situations.

When speaking to Ajay, it does not take long to figure out that he is motivated, intelligent and focused on the future.  He has taken full advantage of his college experience to grow academically, spiritually and socially.  By using the foundation that his parents laid for him before going away, he is building a life that honors them and more importantly honors God.

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